A former island, Rovinj’s Italian-influenced old town is almost completely surrounded by shimmering topaz-blue sea, with a picturesque fishing port of narrow streets and houses packed tightly onto it. Traditions and culture are still strong here, with locals living in harmony with tourists. Go either way along the coast to find stunning pristine natural reserves and islands with awesome beaches, biking, hiking and rock climbing, or dive to a ghostly 100-year-old shipwreck. Venture inland to find a remarkable ancient bronze age hill fort, and a mysterious village rumoured to hold the buried loot of famed pirate Captain Morgan.
WIth such diverse and beautiful natural surroundings, the Rovinj region offers a huge range of outdoor activities. Just a 20 minute boat ride from Rovinj are lovely islands such as Katarina, which is great for swimming and scenery, and Crveni Otok for windsurfing, sailing and naturism. South of Rovinj is the lush and expansive Zlatni Rt Forest Park, ideal for walking, hiking, biking, rock climbing, or snorkelling and swimming at the many beaches. If you’re feeling more adventurous, dive to the shipwrecked (and probably haunted) ferry Baron Gautsch which sank near Rovinj in 1914, killing about 240 people. You can also take a boat to the gorgeous Lim Bay and Valley, a narrow estuary and protected reserve, and visit Romuald’s Cave, where the oldest traces of prehistoric man in Istria were found.